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Child support guidelines in Utah may undergo a revamp, pending Senate approval, in an attempt to bring child support payments up to date.
This update will be the first of Utah’s child support guidelines in 12 years.
Only divorces that occur after January 1, 2007 would be affected by the new child support legislation (SB195) in Utah. This new legislation also contains provisions for amending old agreements.
Low-income families and single child families would see the biggest increase of child support payments. Their monthly payments would increase by 25 percent. Middle-income families and those with four or more children would see a smaller increase and some payments would decrease.
With the proposal of new amendments to increase child support, many wish to safeguard courts from the flood of old divorce agreements. The bill is adjusted so that any agreements made before January 2007 can be easily and quickly amended if both parents’ incomes have increased by ten percent.
The problem is that this amendment may be, according to Stewart Ralphs, “a double-edge sword.”
If a single mother’s income doesn’t increase, she could not ask for more child support, no matter how much her ex-husband’s salary might have grown. Also, the amendment may prohibit a non-custodial father who may have lost his job from lowering his child support if needed.
While many legislatures fear treading into the topics that accompany divorce, these issues have not changed the fact Child Support Advisory Panels want the standards for child support payments updated.